For the cross country skier, Duluth offers some of the best trails in the state. Five city trails provide 65K for every level such as Chester Bowl which is for advanced level skating-style cross-country skiing. Downhill skiing and ski jumping are also available at Chester Bowl.
The Hartley Ski Trail is groomed for the traditional cross-country skiing at beginning and intermediate levels. The Lester/Amity Ski Trail is good for both traditional and skate-style skiing and is lit on one portion. Piedmont Ski Trail is appropriate for traditional skiers of all levels and includes some scenic overlooks of the St. Louis River valley. Spirit Mountain offers more than 20 km of groomed trails that wind through the woods.
For current ski conditions, call the Ski Condition Hotline at 218-730-4321 or look us up on Facebook at DuluthParksMN.
Buying a pass: A Great Minnesota Ski Pass, which costs $6 daily, $20 yearly or $55 for three years, is required for skiers 16 and older who use City groomed trails. It can be purchased by mail, on-line or at sports shops or where hunting and fishing licenses are sold, such as K mart, Wal-Mart and Super America and Holiday stations.
Snow conditions: To find out current trail conditions call the City Trail Hotline at 218-730-4321, look us up on Facebook atDuluthParksMN or check skier submitted trail reports on Skinnyski.com
Information: The Duluth XC Ski Club website has information about tours, clinics, races and other events for skiers of all ages and ability levels.
Maps: You can download each trail map from the Duluth Parks and Recreation website www.duluthmn.gov/parks or pick up a map at the Parks and Recreation office located at 12 East 4th Street.
Ski rental: The Ski Hut, which is located at 1032 East 4th Street and 5607 Grand Avenue and Continental Ski & Bike located at 1303 East 1st Street both rent cross-country skis. Hartley Nature Center, Snowflake Nordic Center and Spirit Mountain (see below) also rent skis.
Lester-Amity: This 15-kilometer trail, groomed for skating as well as striding, is easily reached from East Superior Street at 61st Avenue. Its giant firs provide good protection from wind. In early morning and evening, 5 kilometers are lighted. An adjacent 3-kilometer loop on the Lester Park Golf Course is good for beginners and skijoring (skiing with your leashed dog).
Hartley Park: These wooded loops, located in a residential neighborhood, include 5 kilometers of double-tracked classic trails. There's a hilly outer loop and a gentler inner loop, good for families and beginners. Hartley Nature Center rents skis and snowshoes. Snowshoes can be used on the Superior Hiking Trail and other trails in the park that are not groomed for skiing.
You can also snowshoe on the Superior Hiking Trail, which cuts through the park. You can access the trail at the parking lot of the Hartley Nature Center.
Piedmont: This 5-kilometer trail in the hills near Enger Park, off U.S. 53/Piedmont Avenue, is double-tracked for classic skiing and includes an overlook of the St. Louis River valley. It's not too hilly and is good for beginners and intermediates. Wooden signs put up by a neighborhood skier will give you a chuckle: Go Dis Vay, Finland 7,000 miles and Chicken Loop Cutoff.
Chester Park: This very hilly 3-kilometer trail, groomed for skating only, is tucked away near the College of St. Scholastica, off Skyline Parkway in a residential neighborhood.
Snowflake Nordic Center: High above Duluth, this privately operated ski center has 15 kilometers of trails which are groomed daily and are lighted. Striding tracks flank skating lanes, and if you ski there in the late afternoon, expect to be passed by speedy high school athletes from the Duluth East Nordic team! A trail pass is $7.00 and season passes are also available, and skiers over 65 ski free.
Spirit Mountain: Spirit Mountain Nordic Center, now under the management of the City of Duluth and the Duluth XC Ski club, is just across the road from the alpine slopes on Skyline Parkway and offers trails suitable for beginners and experts. Spirit Mountain’s 22 kilometers of double-tracked trails with skating lanes.
For more information on what Duluth Parks have to offer go to www.duluthmn.gov/parks